The Edmonton Oilers announced today that they’ve signed college winger Colin McDonald to a two-year entry level contract. They also signed several minor leaguers for the Springfield club.
McDonald is a member of the Oilers “Coke Machine” drafts, a group that has several things in common: they have power forward size, were taken at least one round ahead of where they were projected (McDonald was ranked #58 in North America by CSB and was selected 51st overall), were taken in the first 100 picks each season and none (so far) have come out of college early and shown it was a wise move.
The full list, beginning in 2000:
- Brad Winchester (78 NHL games)
- Eddie Caron (0 NHL games)
- Brock Radunske (0 NHL games)
- Colin McDonald (0 NHL games)
- JF Jacques (44 NHL games)
- Zach Stortini (29 NHL games)
- Geoff Paukovich (0 NHL games)
- Chris Vande Velde (0 NHL games)
The last two drafts have seen the Oilers pass on the opportunity to add more Coke Machines (possibly because of the mixed results from the early returns). Some of the above can be argued over (Eddie Caron wasn’t so much a Coke Machine as a Hoover, Stortini is an enforcer type and Jacques is probably a player) but the fact remains each of these 8 has a “Frankenstein” feel in terms of their pro hockey future.
McDonald’s college comps are pretty close to Brad Winchester’s in terms of ppg (.56 in 150 college gp for Winchester, .57 in 135 games for McDonald) and McDonald outscored Winchester 43-40 in goals for their NCAA careers.
He was at last season’s prospect camp, and Guy Flaming had this to say about him: “There is something about him that I really like but I can’t put my finger on it. He just looks like a hockey player. Very good size, terrific release, skates well, made nice passes… everything was solid. He could play pro now I would think and if the Oilers had their own AHL team I think he would sign this summer.”
They have their own AHL team now and McDonald is signed. We already have some indicators on him just by using logic (hey, no disrespect but the real good college kids come out after two seasons at age 20 like Cogliano or Comrie) and I think the Winchester comp is pretty fair. The fan in me is hoping like hell he proves us wrong and has a Fernando Pisani career.
Like Pisani, McDonald will play his first pro hockey game at age 23.